Karen Andermills is the main lobbyist for the CEA at the Ohio Legislature. She has been an activist for much of her career, advocating for the rights of young children with special needs, and for the civil rights of GLBT couples and their families. Andermills is CEA’s legislative liaison, keeping the association informed of bills and proposals that affect public education.
Andermills started her education career with Franklin County in 1980, teaching students with developmental disabilities. She joined Columbus City Schools as a special education teacher in 1987. During her classroom tenure, she served as a Faculty Representative, OEA Delegate, NEA Delegate, and on the OEA Legislative Committee, and CEA and OEA Candidate Screening Committees. She is a founder of CEA’s GLBT Caucus and is treasurer of CEA’s Political Action Committee, Teachers for Better Schools (TBS). Before retiring in 2013, Andermills taught special needs kindergarten at Oakmont ES.
In 2010, Karen became CEA’s legislative coordinator, and how serves us by lobby at the Statehouse, coordinating Lobby Days, and engaging members to come forward for public education. “There’s nothing like seeing a member find their voice and begin advocating for their students at the statehouse,” she said.
Andermills also is a proponent for GLBT issues, with a focus on marriage and the rights of citizenship not afforded GLBT families. Karen and her wife, Dorrie, co-founded Ohio Freedom to Marry in 2001 and later helped establish Equality Ohio.
Staff Consultant Tori Washington
When Tori Washington became co-chair of CEA’s Social and Economic Justice committee (SEJC) it allowed her to examine more closely the problems her students face. “I knew there were issues,” said Washington, who is completing her twenty-first year in the classroom. “But being a part of the SEJC has helped me become a part of the solutions. This committee has also allowed me to work with other awesome CEA members that I don’t usually work with. I have been able to have more insight into CEA and see the strength of our union membership.”
Washington is CEA’s newest staff consultant. She has moved from Beechcroft HS, where she taught reading, to the CEA office, where she now works with, and on the behalf of, CEA’s members.
Washington applied for the position because she grew up seeing how important unions are. “My dad is a retired General Motors employee and UAW member. As a kid, I remember times when my dad was on strike for better working conditions and wages,” she said. Because UAW fought for the workers, my parents were able to send me to college, and I was the first college graduate in my family.”
Washington became involved with CEA in 2010, when the Association partnered with the Ohio State University in the “Bringing Learning to Life” project, providing professional development for teachers in high-poverty schools to help them lead their students in civic engagement projects. As part of the project, Washington took a group of students to the NEA Representative Assembly where they presented at NEA’s “Raise Your Hand” event. There, she saw firsthand how NEA works to benefit educators and the education profession.
“Attending the Representative Assembly inspired me to get more involved with CEA,” she said. “My participation with the union the last couple years gave me experiences that were valuable and life changing.”
Ezetta Murray was teaching at Maize Elementary School when CCS told her one of her paychecks was too large. The payroll office informed her that her next check would be significantly reduced. She called CEA.
After experiencing firsthand the support that her union consultants provided, she volunteered to get involved. “My first venture into CEA was accepting an invitation to become a member of the Minority Involvement Program (MIP) committee. During one of the MIP meetings, I told someone I wanted to become more involved. The next thing I knew I received a phone call from the CEA secretary/treasurer asking if I would like to serve on the elections committee. I gladly accepted.”
Several years, later, Murray’s Senior Faculty Representative asked her if she would run to succeed him when he retired. She won. A year later, the administrator at her school sued CEA. “I was in constant contact with CEA voicing the concerns of our staff,” said Murray.
In 1999, she came to work for CEA as a staff consultant. “I want every member to realize they have a voice and they deserve to be heard. I try to pass along the importance of having strong building leadership.” She said.
In addition to serving on many joint committees and representing members in hearings, Murray organizes the annual American Cancers Society Making Strides walk, and organizes and promotes our annual United Negro College Fund drive.
When she is not working, Murray indulges her many interests, including spending time with her family; traveling to places like Africa, China, Greece and France; hiking, biking and reading; making jewelry; and taking photos.
Staff Consultant Teri Mullins
Teri Mullins won’t soon forget the battle to save union rights and bring Senate Bill 5 down.
“I don’t think I have ever witnessed a time when people came together and were so vocal about the rights of teachers and students and other labor unions,” she said. “Being inside the Statehouse the day most people got locked out, then going outside to be with my building colleagues—the entire experience, although a hard battle, evoked a sense of pride in my profession and my union that still gives me goose bumps.”
Mullins taught special education for 13 years, all at Wedgewood MS. She advised the STEM Club the past two years. She attended Columbus City Schools as well, including Duxberry Park ES, Franklin MS and East HS. When asked what drew her to union service, she prefers to stay positive about the disagreements that often trigger CEA representation. “Let’s just say that I wanted to make sure that everyone had help having their voices heard.”
Teri found ways to get involved. She was an OEA delegate and an alternate building FR. She ran for District 6 Governor in 2008 and won. She then served on the bargaining team and the Reform Panel. We are pleased to have Teri on board as a CEA Staff Consultant. Her vast experience will serve the membership well.
Election Chairperson: Neil Moore
Moore has been involved with our elections process for five years and was part of the team that helped computerize the ballot counting. Moore started his CEA involvement as a Faculty Representative at Columbus Alternative High School, and later served as FR and Senior FR at Whetstone High School.
Moore, who also taught at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and in the St. Clairsville, Ohio, schools, is the third consecutive Spanish teacher in his family, after his mother and father, and cites them as role models for the importance of Association involvement.
As a CEA FR, Moore has stood with us at the Statehouse. He shook hands with Jesse Jackson, who came here to support our fight against SB 5, and he felt the power of education within a democracy. Within CEA, he said, “I hope to help educate association members not just about the importance of voting but also about the laws that govern the process.
He encourages younger members to get involved in all ways: “It is important to have informed and experienced association members who stay abreast of the latest legislation, who testify on our behalf, and who have our backs while we are busy in the classroom.”